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Saturday, October 30, 2010


It's nearly Halloween and I am not a huge fan of this holiday although I do enjoy the cute side of it...i.e. children dressed up in precious costumes and trick-or-treating. I do not enjoy the haunted side of the holiday at all. Scary movies and haunted houses/farms/hotels do NOTHING for me. Thank goodness My Hero feels the same way. Ghostbusters is about the scariest thing we can stomach.

In light of Halloween, I started thinking about costumes and how they've changed, or haven't really changed that much, over the years. I mean, you see princess costumes, pirates, ghosts and goblins every year. Now, Lady Gaga is thrown into the mix, but isn't she really just a concoction of all the aforementioned Halloween characters? Long story short, this got me thinking about how fashion trends have come and gone and come back again. Maybe they are a little more bedazzled than the year before, but the concept is still the same. With that having been stated, have you noticed that Varsity Jackets are back in style???? WHHHHAT?!??! Seriously. I couldn't believe it.
My Hero has encouraged me to leave behind my high school letterman jacket with each move, but I just couldn't do it. A lot of hard work and hours went into creating my masterpiece and there are a few pins that never made it onto my trendy outerwear. Sadly, my research of this trend shows that this is now a more fitted garment. When I purchased my jacket, styles were big and baggy. I also believe that the only size jacket available to everyone was large, extra large and King Kong. In hindsight I think that my alma mater purchased these size options for the football team not really thinking that anyone on the varsity field hockey team or varsity track team who was female would want this article of clothing. Clearly, none of the female student body was consulted about this merchandising effort.

Anyway, I reminisced quite a bit this afternoon as I pulled out my jacket. In short, it consists of a varsity letter for both field hockey and track, 3 district champion patches and 1 regional champion patch for field hockey, 5 varsity bars, 2 running pins, 2 hockey pins and 1 orchestra pin (Yep, I was an orchestra geek...Concert Mistress. What. Can you play an instrument? Didn't think so.) I know you aren't supposed to live in the past, but this was just the boost I needed to get me out of the slump I've been in lately. I accomplished a lot in life just during high school. I used to run circles around myself. Don't get me wrong...I don't want to be that busy again, but I have given myself strong encouragement for future endeavors with this trip down memory lane. What did you do in your past that made you proud of who you've become today and given you the encouragement to go the distance?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Things I Know

Since moving to Manhattan, I've figured out a few things:
  • Female Manhattanites don't bring their lunch to work. How else are you suppose to look cute while prancing your way to work each day? They don't want to look like a bag lady either when carrying a super fashionable purse PLUS a lunch bag or tote on top of that. I just don't understand where they get the money to buy lunch every day. I've come to the conclusion that they just don't eat. That's probably how they stay so dang skinny. I hate them. I love food. I will be the bag lady.
  • My Hero is such a hard worker and truly a man of God. Our schedules have been nearly opposite of one another for a few weeks now, so we value the time we have together. Spending 13-15 hours in the car with him on our trip to Charlotte was the best quality time and most time we've had in a while. Good thing we get along. HA! This week has been especially difficult. His store is short staffed so he's been pulling long hours. We barely see each other when he rolls in at 11:00 each night and again in the morning when I am getting ready to leave for work. We might actually get to have dinner together this Friday night.
  • My Hero and I are diner people. There are so many places to eat in this city, but you can get really good food and a wonderful variety of food from a diner. We are still in search for "our" diner. You know, there was a diner where everyone convened on Seinfeld, there is a diner on Rules of Engagement, the cast of Friends consistently met at Central Perk...we want to find "our" place too.
  • The Upper East Side is the greatest place in the city to live...for us. We truly love our neighborhood. The East River is 1 block away, two grocery stores are 1 block away, TJMaxx is practically in my back yard, a great Chinese restaurant is across the street, the park is only 5 blocks away, the greenway is only 2 blocks away, a great nail salon is also across the street, a drug store is half a block away...I can go on and on.
  • Sometimes eating out is cheaper than fixing your own dinner. Our refrigerator is literally the size of one you might find in a dorm room. I am not exaggerating. We don't keep much food in our apartment since a) we don't have room for it, b) the grocery store is right around the corner and c) there are so many places to eat that are reasonably priced and that give you at least 2 to 3 servings of food. We can get a decent dinner, eat half and have the left overs for lunch or dinner the next day. Money saved.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's the Little Things

I've been thinking a lot about the little and simple pleasures in life that bring great joy...even if it's just for a short time. Here are a few of my favorites. Please forgive the quality of the pictures since they were all taken with my phone.

Candy Corn: 'Tis the Season for this delicious sweetness that melts in your mouth. People either love or hate this candy. I LOVE it! I have a serious problem and can't control myself when it's around. I have done my best this year and only eaten 2.5 bags. Plus, I managed to share a few morsels. Not bad, Me! Self high-five! I also discovered caramel chocolate candy corn this year. YUM!

Barnum's Animal Crackers: I am not sure why these are technically called crackers...we all know they are really cookies. Anytime I have this snack, I am instantly brought back to my childhood. I always loved to carry the box around like it was my own purse after devouring the contents. I purchased a box the other day and the guy at the checkout register asked me if I was going on a field trip. HA! I think it's totally appropriate for a 30 year old to buy this treat for herself every now and then without being questioned. HAHAHA!

Manicure: I N-E-V-E-R paint my fingernails. Never. A 5 year old could paint her nails better than I can paint my own. I never get them painted either. I am so rough on my hands that it's just not worth the money. BUT my local salon had a great weekly deal recently that I just couldn't pass up so I went for it. After getting it done, I seriously couldn't stop looking at my nails! They were so pretty and shiny! No wonder some women do this all the time! Just like anything else, the newness wore off after a few days and the pretty paint disappeared into a cotton ball soaked with remover. It was fun while it lasted.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Candy Corn & Kisses

My Hero and I cruised down to North Carolina this past weekend to have some much needed family time. We decided to drive the grueling 13-14 hours each way so our beloved Rockzilla could make the trip as well. Our precious 9 year old has never stayed anywhere except with us or at his grandparents' house so we are very timid to leave him. You would think we have a newborn that we were afraid to leave for the first time, but what you must understand is that Rocky is very temperamental and doesn't get along with most dogs or other people. He looks sweet and innocent, but he's a fighter underneath the soft, white and brown, cuddly exterior. See...

After arriving in NC, we were off and running. We had lots of family to see, things to do and places to go. We were on the go, go, go the entire time, but we had an absolutely amazing time and only wish we were still there. In short, we accomplished the following:
  • Surprised both sets of grandparents
  • Shed a few tears
  • Drove (I seriously love driving)
  • Finalized banking business
  • Ate at Chick-Fil-A
  • Did some winter clothes shopping
  • Purchased new winter boots for the both of us
  • Met my brother's super-sweet girlfriend
  • Enjoyed an all-you-can-eat Chinese food and crab legs dinner
  • Drove some more
  • Visited the Tiffany store
  • Got my rings checked and didn't make any additional purchases while doing so
  • Ate at Chick-Fil-A again
  • Caught up with Polka Dots and Protein Bars
  • Ate some of her delicious, homemade, chocolate chip cookies
  • Laughed a lot
  • Had dinner with family including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins
  • Heard the best redneck stories including killer bees, snakes, deer and ants
  • Laughed more
  • Learned that to escape hornets, you should head for the shade
  • Laughed even more
  • Played with a puppy
  • Ate at Bojangles
  • Attended a church service at Elevation - heard an awesome sermon (of course) and worship music that ranged from Country (bluegrass-fiddle, banjo, harmonica and cowboy boots included) to joke.
  • Saw Polka Dots and Protein Bars' parents! I love them to pieces!
  • Shed a few more tears
  • Loved on our family
  • Cried half way home...a few more chocolate chip cookies helped dry my eyes
The entire trip was fantastic and I already miss those Carolina blue skies. Through it all, I was reminded that it's the small things in life that mean the most in this world...and apparently food. HA! Before heading back to Manhattan, we ventured across the pasture to give more hugs to our grandparents. They know how much I love candy corn and had purchased a bag for me to enjoy on the ride home. Well, actually, they probably wanted me to stop eating their candy corn so they got me my own; nevertheless, this meant more to me than I can ever express. I insist that they love me the best of all the grandchildren now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm Spicy

By now you know that I'm am no Julia Child. Recently, in efforts to start eating healthier and be more conscious of what I am eating, I have been preparing more of my own food. Much to my dismay, this has included cooking...well, I am I guess you can count scrambled egg whites as cooking.

I have taken the time to explore our neighborhood grocery store in order to find tasty yet healthy options. There's only so much you can do to spice up a chicken breast. As I was perusing the spice isle earlier this week, I noticed an interesting bottle of hot sauce. Spicy Mango! YUM! I was a little timid at first, but the price was pretty decent so I picked it up. After adding it to chicken breasts and, yes, even egg whites, I realized I have discovered a new love. The chicken turned out super moist and slightly tangy. The egg whites were actually a little sweet and had just the hint of a kick. You've gotta try it! Tropical Pepper - Spicy Mango Pepper Sauce. Happy cooking!
“It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it.” - Julia Child

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Walk (mostly run) the Line

I came to the conclusion this morning while running that my iPod is POSSESSED! I have heard a friend say this to me before, but I just didn't believe him. If anything, it was just his iPod. This could never happen to mine. Well, it happened to mine today. Then, it dawned on me...I got this iPod from this same friend. UGH! I think I actually started to laugh while I was running when I realized this.

A "possessed" iPod is loosely defined as one which plays the same song or songs by the same artist nearly every other turn while in the shuffle mode. My iPod's artist of choice is Johnny Cash. Although I do enjoy his music, it takes up a mere 1/32 of the music in my library so I just don't understand how this happens. I enjoy a good "I Walk the Line" or "Ring of Fire" or "Orange Blossom Special," BUT it's just not the most energetic music to run to especially after 40 minutes or so and you are trying to push it up that last hill.

Dear iPod,
I am kindly placing my request for a evenly mix of energetic tunes tomorrow. If it pleases you, I would greatly appreciate that last power song to be something along the lines of "Eye of the Tiger" or "Sexy Back"(...don't judge me).


Monday, October 4, 2010

Rock It

Oh yeah!!! I booked my tickets today shortly after learning that I get a corporate discount! WHAHOOOO! It's been nearly 18 years since I've seen THE Rockettes. My grandparents took me on a trip to New York as a birthday present and it was a trip that I will never forget. During our visit in the city we saw the Rockettes. My grandmother continued to talk about the gorgeous legs of these women and how spectacular their kicks were while my grandfather enjoyed every minute of it as well.

I am not so sure how excited My Hero is, but he loves Christmas so this should be a wonderful start to our holiday season!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Louis! Louis!

It's Fall!!! It was truly the first weekend we've had with a chill in the air. Even my hot-blooded hubby shivered...only slightly though. He never gets cold, but he said he might actually get to wear a sweater this year since it might be cold enough for him in the city.

The hubs and I didn't get to see each other at all this weekend so I had to figure out what to do with myself. I started Saturday morning with a great run up Sutton Avenue. It was actually quite peaceful dodging the families and couples already out and about. They were strolling to their fav coffee joint to get their jolt of the if the brisk weather weren't enough.

After getting home and hopping in the shower, I was off to Madison Square Park to meet The Voorhees. Jen is a former co-worker from an ad agency in Charlotte and her hubs is an aspiring comedian. We grabbed a bite to eat at Shake Shack...mmmmm...seriously the best burgers, fries and shakes in the city. I was good and only had a burger...and fries sans cheese. The cheese is the best part. Jen and Derek were kind enough to introduce me to their friends who also live in the city over lunch. They are such an interesting couple and I hope I have a future post about them as our friendship grows.

After noshing on our delicious meat and potatoes, we needed to walk it off so we headed WAAAAAAAAAY down to Hook & Ladder 8. This is the functioning fire station that was used to film Ghostbusters II. Everyone was super excited to see it, but once we got there, it was closed up. DANGIT!!!! The Voorhees got a peak inside anyway.

After saying goodbye and parting ways, I had to head home and attempt to take Rockzilla for a walk. Welllllllll, riiiiiiight. About that. He just doesn't want to walk outside on the street with just me. We at least made it down the block before he insisted upon turning around and coming home. Thank goodness for our courtyard or the poor little guy probably wouldn't go outside. We came in and played with his duck. Rockzilla is a super hunter. He conquered the duck!!! It was a good afternoon!

Today was the best day of all. Now, you must sit down before reading this...
I WENT TO THE GROCERY STORE AND I COOKED!!! Seriously! Now, I totally understand that this is no great challenge for many people, but it is for me because (A) I loathe the grocery store and (B) I really don't enjoy cooking. I conquered both in one day! WHAHOOO! I made almond crusted chicken and honey dijon chicken fingers and chicken you recognize a theme here? Oh, I also made fresh, steamed veggies. YUM! My meals are made for the week.

Now for the creme de la creme. Are you still sitting down? OMG! I nearly died today. I am not much into material things simply because we just can't afford them. I do, however, like nice things and save my money to buy them...on sale. I am the Queen of Sales, Sample Sales, Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Consignment Stores. NYC has some amazing consignment stores with clothes that still have the tags on them! I ventured to SoHo this afternoon to check out a couple of consignment stores. The first was a bust, but I will go back again. I hit the jackpot in the second store...CHECK IT OUT!!! OMG!!! OMG!!! OMG!!! OMG!!! IT'S REAL! LOUIS IS MINE!!!